July 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 2

This week for the second July Preparedness Challenge, let's gather some short-term and long-term rice, and canned meats into our food storage. Check out a few ideas below.


  • Has a short-term shelf life
  • According to StillTasty.com, brown rice has a 3-6 month pantry shelf life, 6 - 12 month refrigerator shelf-life and a 12 - 18 month freezer shelf life. 
  • High oil content of brown rice causes it to spoil more quickly than white rice. 
  • Transfer brown rice to a covered airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag.
White, Basmati and Jasmine rice are great food items to store in your long-term food storage.
  • "Store in a cool dry area; after opening the package, place the uncooked white rice in a sealed airtight container or place original package in a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag." StillTasty
  • White rice has an indefinite shelf life if protected from contamination. 
  • Discard if it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects or other contaminants appear.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sells white rice in large 5.4 lb. cans for $5.00. Cans have a 30 year shelf life (if stored properly). Order online or pick up at an LDS Home Storage Center.
  • A year's supply is about 12 of these cans. See "An Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage."


Canned chicken, roast beef, tuna, corned beef hash, Vienna sausages and Spam are readily available. Here are some stocking and use tips:
  • Quick and easy to use. A great backup for a last minute meal.
  • Typically has about a 2-year shelf life. 
  • A 12 oz can of roast beef can be used in place of 1 lb. of ground beef in many recipes. A 12 oz can of chicken can be used in enchiladas, salads and chicken sandwiches.
  • Can your own meat in jars with a meat pressure canner for added savings.
Good luck gathering rice and meat this week. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

July 5, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 1

Over the years I've written posts about fire safety during the month of October because that’s National Fire Safety month. But after visiting the aftermath of Paradise, California last year, I decided to move fire safety into our July prep. It's never too early to prepare for fires. Earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters cause fires too. So, this week we’ll be gathering fire safety and rescue equipment.

1. Buy or Test Fire Safety Equipment

A. Buy a fire escape ladder if you have or live on the 2nd floor.
B. Buy or test your fire extinguisher.
  • This video shows firefighters going door to door helping people test their fire extinguishers and find the correct place to store them. Sorry, it shouldn't be under your kitchen sink. https://youtu.be/wKC3PnbdMwQ
C. Buy or test your smoke alarms. Do you have a newer model? Yes, they do get old.
D. Buy or test your carbon monoxide detector.

All items may be purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco and other hardware store.


2. Buy or Gather Rescue Supplies

Let firefighters or other first responders do the rescuing whenever possible, but if you must come to the rescue, a few of the supplies below may help. And if you aren't strong enough or trained to rescue someone, wouldn't it be nice to hand someone else the equipment you have on hand? Keep these items stored in a well-marked tote where you can easily find them. Put the work gloves on top.
  • Pry bar - can pull nails, pry, lift or scrape. One idea is the Wonder Bar or Super Bar. About $12.
  • Outdoor climbing rope - can help you tie off an object or assist in a rescue. About $20.
  • Headlamp - can keep your hands free to help you see in the dark. About $10.
  • Work gloves - to protect your hands from sharp objects. About $10.
  • Emergency Auto Safety Hammer - use to break out or into a car. About $5. Amazon VicTsing. This may be a Christmas gift for my family.
    As you ponder what you can do to keep your family safe, answers will come.

    Best wishes on working on this week's preparedness challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen

    June 29, 2019

    LDS Home Storage Center Price Specials July and August

    Here are the LDS Home Storage Center price specials for July and August which are about 10% off the regular price. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜ Another great way to gather food storage.

    This is the first time I've seen 25 lb. bags of Hard Red Wheat on sale. ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


    Even though you can no longer can foods yourself at the Home Storage Centers, you may still buy mylar foil bags there ($.80 ea.) and oxygen absorber packets (100 ct. for $9.55). You might enjoy putting food storage in smaller 11"x13" pouches.

    HOW TO USE POUCHES? Go here to churchofjesuschrist.org.


    LDS Church members and non-church members may shop at LDS Home Storage Centers. Find a location at this link.

    Here's an article at LDSLiving called "Wheat, the Remarkable Grain" with answers to question about different types of wheat.

    Enjoy some new adventures in food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 26, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 4

    During week four of our June Preparedness Challenges, we’ll be gathering short-term and long-term food storage beverages.These goals are similar to the weekly Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2, but I'm feeling we need a refresher. Last week for power outages we found our coolers (I had to look in three places!), gathered our ice packs (now on the top shelf in my big freezer) and bought a refrigerator/freezer thermometer (found mine on Amazon).

    1. Gather Fortified and Electrolyte Beverages
    We're encouraged by the LDS Church to store foods that would help us if we had nothing else to eat. A fortified drink mix (or vitamins) is part of that plan. Here are a few items available at the LDS Home Storage Centers right now! Locations can be found at this link.

    Image for Fruit Drink Mix from LDS US Store

    LDS Berry Drink Mix
    • Provides 100% vitamin C as well as 10% of other vitamins.
    • On sale now for $4.00 (regularly $4.50)! Sale ends July 31. Not sold online
    • 2.5 lb. resealable pouch or 41 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • Contains sugar but not overly sweet. You could substitute vitamins for this drink mix. 
    • 3-year shelf life.
    • Also, store an electrolyte beverage as well. If a serious illness or pandemic ever happens, you need something to help replenish lost nutrients.
    2. Gather Nonfat-Dry Milk

    Image for Nonfat Dry Milk from LDS US Store

    LDS Nonfat Dry Milk

    • Provides calcium and protein.
    • On sale now for $3.50 (regularly $4.00)! Sale ends July 31. 
    • 28 oz. (1.8 lb.) resealable pouch and makes 29 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • GREAT taste! It's been reformulated so it's not the same milk that came in those big cans.
    • Keep it with your cooking supplies so you WILL use it.
    • I1 cup of water + 3 T of LDS Nonfat Dry Milk = 1 Cup milk
    • 20-year shelf life unopened if stored in a cool, dry place and about a 3-month shelf life opened.
    • A long-term food, but it's very economical for everyday use.
    • A 3-month supply = 7 pouches. A 12-month supply = 28 pouches (49 lbs.).

    Some people say, “I never use my food storage. Why should I store it?" Well, perhaps the blessings have already come to your family. Food storage is the best home insurance. Be committed and enjoy the blessings of food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 20, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 3

    For week three of our June Preparedness Challenges, we'll gather a cooler, ice packs and appliance thermometers in case of a power outage which can happen any time of the year. So plan ahead.

    After a power outage, a refrigerator can only keep your food safe for up to 4 hours. What would you want to save? Dairy? Meat?

    You could transfer some items into your freezer, then keep the door closed. A freezer can keep food cold up to 24 hours if half full and 48 hours if very full. Beyond this time your food is no longer safe to eat. Does your medication need refrigeration? Keep a lunch kit with a cold pack frozen at all times just in case.

    1. Have a Cooler and Ice Packs
    Another alternative to transferring items to the freezer is to put perishable items in a cooler with ice packs. Place ice packs in the bottom, then food, then more ice packs on top. You could drive to the store for ice, but I’d avoid it in a disaster. Frozen water bottles can be inexpensive ice blocks. Make sure they are not completely full to allow for expansion when frozen. Store your cooler in a specific location where family members can find it if they need to pack it during a power outage.

    2. Buy a Few Appliance Thermometers
    Keep a fridge/freezer appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to know with a quick glance the temperature in there. It’s recommended that our refrigerators be kept at 40 degrees or below and the freezer should be at 0 degrees. It’s so important to keep the doors to these appliances closed during a power outage.

    Good thing we have non-perishable foods in our pantry, because that's what we should eat first in a long-term power outage. For more power outage safety tips, see FoodSafety.gov and FDA.gov.

    Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge. You CAN do it!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 13, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 2

    Our second Preparedness Challenge in June is to put underwear, socks, a rain poncho and a flashlight into our grab and go 72-hour kits. That shouldn't be too difficult. But these simple items are so very important.

    Gather into your Grab and Go Kit:

    1. Underwear and Socks
    Of all the items you put in your kit, you’ll probably want clean underwear. After a disaster when your clothes have gotten wet or dirty, something clean is a true blessing. Many of us with growing children should inspect or trade out underwear and socks in kits each year so we have the correct size. At least one extra of each. Put these items in a plastic zipper bag to keep them dry and mark the date you added them to the kit on the bag. Add a reminder on your calendar to update them next year. You've got this!

    If you have an infant, keep a change of clothing in your diaper bag at all times as it will probably become your grab-and-go 72-hour kit.

    2. Rain Poncho and Flashlight
    There is nothing worse than getting wet during a disaster. All over the news we see people evacuating through rain and flood waters. Find an inexpensive rain poncho for each member of your family and put them in their kits. You'll find them at dollar stores, Walmart or even your favorite colleges stores.

    BYU Bookstore

    Also get a flashlight or headlamp for each kit. I just ordered the EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set from Amazon for less than $17 and will pass the extra flashlights out to my kids and grandkids for Christmas.


    EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set

    Keep the gathering simple. Best wishes on accomplishing this week's challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 6, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - June Week 1

    Sorry I've not posted much lately, but I've been busy with vacations and family just like the rest of you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    This week's Preparedness Challenge is to check your emergency water supply. Is it adequate? Do you have about 14 gallons of water per person? People living in hot climates, should store even more.

    Never ration water. Always give children what they need as dehydration sets in very quickly for those little ones.

    Clean drinking water is essential for all of us. So be wise and store some H2O for your family.

    Review my Preparedness Challenge - January Week 3 for many ideas on storing emergency drinking water. I feel it should be repeated as a good reminder.

    Best wishes!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Note: this is the same handout as January Week 3.

    June 1, 2019

    LDS Home Storage Center Sale - June and July

    Here are the U.S. LDS Home Storage Center price specials for June and July. These special prices are about 10% off the regular price. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜ Another great way to gather food storage.

    Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and non church members may shop at LDS Home Storage Centers. Go here to find locations.

    Here is a flyer from the Salt Lake Welfare Square with the price specials you may share with wards or friends.

    May 27, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - May Week 4

    Our preparedness challenge for this week is simply to gather a supply of disposable eating items like paper plates, cups, bowls, utensils and more. Something you probably shop for already, but they would be extremely useful in an emergency.

    I know some of you believe in saving the environment, but during an emergency or disaster, you need to feed your hungry family.

    After most disasters, many people are temporarily sheltered in tent cities and they are basically camping. Disposable eating supplies become a necessity because you can't find water to wash dishes. So, I always keep a supply of disposable picnic supplies on hand. Here are some ideas that may help you:

    1.  Gather Disposable Picnic Supplies
    These items always go on sale during May, June and July which is awesome! Costco and Sam's Club have them on sale for a few more weeks. But also check pharmacies like Walgreens. They also have special deals.
    • paper plates
    • cups, paper or plastic, and even some styrofoam cups for hot beverages
    • bowls paper or foam
    • plastic utensils
    • heavyweight foil
    • paper towels
    • napkins
    • disposable table cloths
    The key is not to let these items disappear on your shelves before you need them. Sure you can use part of them, but replenish them. 

    Have fun gathering!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    May 26, 2019

    N95 Face Masks Protect From Wildfire Smoke Inhalation

    We've had lots of rain in Utah this year, and rain brings extra vegetation which can lead to late summer wildfires if temperatures rise quickly. Overall, officials are expecting fewer fires. However, we live less than a quarter of a mile from the mountains. So, one emergency item that keeps coming to my mind to buy is N95 respirators. Especially those that fit the faces of children.

    LA Times

    Appropriate masks disappeared quickly after the California wildfires. According to an article in the LA Times, the type of mask to get is an N95 respirators or P100 masks. A surgical mask or a hardware store dust mask will NOT protect your lungs from wildfire smoke particulates.

    LA Times
    "The mask should have two straps — one placed below the ears and one above. And it should seal tightly to your face."

    The FDA says: "The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.

    "N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children and people with facial hair, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection."


    Safety N95 Particulate Respirator w/Exhalation

    Adult masks don't fit well on children's faces either, so I'm adding some Ligart kid-sized masks to my supplies for the grandkids and neighborhood kids. Better safe than sorry, and ahead of the demand.




    May 22, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - May Week 3

    This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we'll be gathering a few BBQ spices from your favorite store, and some dehydrated onions from the LDS Home Storage Center. We are fortunate again that they are on sale.

    Gathering items for emergencies isn't about buying stuff. It's about listening to the counsel of generations of LDS Church leaders.

    Imagine a neighborhood where each home is self-reliant and prepared for emergencies. During a disaster there is less need to borrow from each other and we are better able to assist in the recovery effort.

    But also imagine a neighborhood where people have that "someday I'll get to it" attitude. Now that's a disaster in and of itself. So, be different. Perhaps a peculiar people.

    "Church members are conscious of the fact that they live in a period of calamities, caused both by human actions and the furies of nature. The prophecies about the last days are unequivocal, and there is great wisdom in preparing for the future—whether it be for possible famine, disaster, financial depression, or any other unforeseen adverse circumstance."

    "Church leaders have frequently counseled members to practice provident living by establishing home storage, including extra water, basic food items, medications, clothing, and other supplies that could be needed in case of emergency." Bishop Gรฉrald Caussรฉ, March 2, 2018

    So, add a little spice to your life. Here are a few ideas.

    1. Buy BBQ Spices
    During the summer, many people BBQ. Consider keeping your favorite spices on hand. One of our favorites is McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning currently on sale for $4.88 at Sam's Club until June 2nd. It's 29 ounces large. An amazing deal! We aso use it on Sunday roasts.

    2. Buy Dehydrated Onions
    You can use them everyday, or store them long-term for times when they may not be available. A 2.1 lb. can of dehydrated onions from the LDS Home Storage Center has a 30-year shelf life. Currently it's on sale for $6.75, regularly $8.00. Cheaper than Costco or Sam's Club! Whenever I don't use fresh, I use LDS dehydrated onions. If the can is too large for your family, divide it with a friend.

    You CAN do it! One bag, box or can at a time.

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    "And I will also be your light in the wilderness; 
    and I will prepare the way before you, 
    if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments." 
    1 Nephi 17

    May 7, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - May Week 2

    During the month of May, many condiments, sauces and spices go on sale in preparation for summer barbecues and family gatherings. Take advantage of those sales and stock up for the Preparedness Challenge: May Week 2.

    1. Decide Which Condiments to Store
    • Look in your refrigerator and pull out all the condiments you normally use. 
    • Write down what you use on the inventory list in your binder. 
    • Toss any expired condiments.
    • Clean your refrigerator shelves. 
    • Put useable items back in your refrigerator.
    • Next, take an inventory of unopened condiments in your cupboards.  
    • Pull all condiments out.
    • Wipe down that shelf. 
    • Put items back on your shelf.

    2. Buy a 3 to 12 Month Supply of Condiments
    • Be reasonable. No one needs 24 bottles of ketchup on the wall. Personally, I keep one condiment item in the refrigerator and one on the shelf. And more of a few items.
    • Buy items such ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles, mayonnaise, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressings and vinegar. 
    • I've found my best deals at the grocery store when I combine sales and coupons or when I buy store brand items. However, there are some condiments on sale in the May 8th Sam's Club Savings Book. And Costco has similar deals.
    • Heinz Picnic 4 pack (2 ketchups, 1 relish and 1 mustard) $2.00 off. 
    • Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 2 pk. 40 oz. ea. $2.00 off. 
    • Best Foods Mayonnaise 3 pk. 25 oz. ea. $2.00 off. 
    • A-1 Steak Sauce 2 pk. 15 oz. ea. $1.00 off
    • Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce 2 pk. 20 oz. ea. $1.00 off
    • Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce 2 pk. 40 oz. ea. $1.00 off
    • And new Heinz MayoChup (known as Fry Sauce in Utah) 2 pk. 19 oz. ea. is $4.98
    3. Research The Shelf-Life of Your Condiments
    How long condiments last when opened is usually less time than you think. So, take a few minutes to go to the website StillTasty.com. Enter an item such as mayonnaise in the search box and find out how long is lasts on your shelf and when opened. I may surprise you.

    And do you know which foods you should throw away in your refrigerator after a power outage? Go to the website FoodSafety.gov and review the items you should throw away. It may surprise you.

    Best wishes on preparing this month,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    May 3, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - May Week 1

    Last month was super busy for me, so I'm excited to share our May Preparedness Challenges. This month we will gather cooking supplies into our 72-hour kits, gather condiments and spices and practice outdoor cooking.

    No one ever thinks how they will cook after a disaster, but after a disaster your stove may not work, and you probably won't have power for that microwave oven.

    I'm not an expert in this area, so I try to keep it simple by imagining the aftermath of a disaster. Let's pretend my disaster was a major earthquake. After coming out from beneath my kitchen table, and checking on my family members, check on our neighbors. I woudn't even be thinking about food.

    After getting people better situated and cared for medically, we realize we haven't eaten in four hours. The refrigerator has been off for a long time, and it's unlikely it will be turned on for weeks. So, how do we prepare food?

    Gas ONE New GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Propane and Butane Camping and Backpacking Gas Stove Burner with Carrying Case

    1. Decide How You Will Cook After a Disaster
    Personally, I would not cook anything and eat our small canned foods that require no refrigeration such as PB & honey sandwiches, canned fruit and fresh fruit. Eventually we will have to heat up some stew. One idea is using a simple one-burner gas butane stove. So, we turn it on and heat up our canned stew. Yum! That stew never tasted so good.

    Oher options:
    • Small camp stove in our 72-hour bags
    • Propane barbeque with the single burner on the side. 
    • Use firewood and coal last since they would use up valuable fuel that could keep you warm.
    How will you boil water and keep it warm? A camping tea kettle is perfect for that. You'll need boiled water for your oatmeal and your hot cocoa tomorrow. You may even need to boil water for medicinal needs. Lots of things to consider with your imagination. Keep your cooking items together to make it simpler to find. Here is a sample, but I'm no expert.

    Overmont Camping Kettle

    2. Gather Emergency Cooking Supplies
    May is a great month to start watching for sales on cooking supplies. Don't feel you have to run out and buy anything.

    Possible cooking supply options:
    • camp stove
    • camp stove fuel
    • Dutch oven and supplies
    • Single burner-camp stove
    • matches
    • lighter
    72-hour kit Ideas:
    • camping can opener
    • mess kit
    • eating utensils
    • matches or lighter
    • mini stove and fuel
    I hope you can decide what cooking items work best for your family.

    Best wishes,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    April 17, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2

    Making a sanitation cleanup kit and studying emergency toilets is the focus of Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2. As we've observed many disasters over the years, it's apparent that keeping your home well-stocked with sanitation supplies is imperative. Germs and bacteria can kill us.

    However, that does not mean you have to go overboard. As we pray for inspiration, the thought comes to be vigilant, but not excessive. We see too much "end of the world" prepping these days, and that is NOT how members of the LDS Church approach preparedness. So, with wisdom and prayer, consider what sanitation supplies you want to gather this week or this month.

    1. Make a Sanitation Cleanup Kit
    When the LDS Church asks volunteers to go to an area for clean up, they typically send supplies in a cleaning kit to assist in the cleanup, and to protect workers from bacteria and germs. 

    Everyday disasters also occur in our lives such as the dreaded overflowing toilet or the flooded basement. Consider what items generally work for you and be grateful you have them for a major disaster when running to the store is NOT an option.

    You probably have many of these items already and could keep them grouped together on a shelf so you don't have to run all over your home in search of them. Or keep them in a bucket.
    • 5-gallon bucket
    • Rubber gloves (2 pairs)
    • Trash bags (25)
    • Cleaning rags (2)
    • Dust masks (not N95)
    • Bar of soap
    • Liquid dish soap
    • General-purpose cleaner
    • Liquid bleach 64 oz.
    • Powdered cleanser 14 oz.
    • Large sponge
    • Safety goggles
    • Long-handled scrub brush
    • Scrub brushes, iron-shaped (2)
    • Spray bottle (1 quart)
    *Information from the LDS Emergency Response Supply Order Form

    2. Study Emergency Toilets
    In many parts of the world, a flushing toilet is never an option. Here in the U.S. we've been very blessed. However, we should be prepared for times when we can't use the toilet. Knowledge is key. 

    This article gives a quick overview of how to make your own portable toilet.

    Food Storage Moms You Need to Make Your Own Portable Emergency Toilet

    Food Storage Moms

    I hope you understand that sanitation is super important after a disaster and find ways to become better prepared.

    Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    April 9, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - April Week 1

    This month our Preparedness Challenge focuses on gathering pasta and tomato products for food storage, and sanitation supplies for our home supplies and grab and go 72-hour kits. This week we'll gather a 3-month supply of pasta and tomato items. 

    We enjoyed an amazing weekend of the LDS General Conference, and with that spiritual boost we can accomplish anything.

    Having a category of items to gather keeps it on your mind when you grocery shop throughout the month. I've found this to be the easiest way to gather food storage and emergency supplies.

    With the recent flooding in the Midwest, I've decided to add more beef items to my freezer this month too while prices are still low.

    1. Decide How Much Pasta and Tomato Products to Store in a 3-month Supply

    Look in your pantry and make a list of any tomato or pasta products you already have. These are probably the ones you usually use because most people have extra. 

    Do you have enough? Or would having a few more cans be better? 

    It may help to think of recipes you cook: spaghetti, sloppy joes, taco soup, pizza, tomato basil soup, Ziti bake, etc. 

    Here are some storage tips. Most shelf pasta has a 3-year shelf life, but according to Eat By Date "Dried pasta will last for 1-2 years beyond a 'best by' date." Store in a cool, dry place. Keep package tightly closed.

    Canned or jarred tomato products have a a shorter shelf-life than most canned food. They are acidic and have an 18-24 month shelf-life according to StillTasty.com. Discard all tomato products "from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented."

    2. Gather a 3-Month Supply of Pasta and Tomato Products

    These are your every day pantry foods, NOT long-term food storage. Here is a sample of items you may want to gather:
    • tomato puree
    • diced tomatoes
    • whole tomatoes
    • tomato sauce
    • tomato paste
    • salsa
    • tomato soup
    • spaghetti sauce
    • spaghetti, angel hair pasta, etc.

    Heads up! Check your Smith's Kroger ad. American Beauty pasta goes on sale starting Wednesday for $0.49 a package. My favorite sale of the year!!

    I hope this gives you an idea of what to gather this month. These products are a huge part of my food storage, and may be a part of yours as well.

    Best wishes,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    March 27, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - March Week 4

    This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we’ll gather first aid supplies into our grab and go 72-hour kits. Thankfully this won’t take you long to accomplish.

    Everyone imagines evacuating in their cars. I imagine going on foot as roads may be too congested with vehicles. From home I imagine going to the LDS church close by, or our larger LDS stake center. Some of you would walk to a school or other community center.

    If you had to evacuate quickly, and some family members had minor injuries, you may not have time to use your regular first aid supplies. So, put some useful items in your kit.

    Good thing you have some water bottles in your pack from Preparedness Challenge January Week 1, so you can cleanse a wound.

    Here are a few ideas for about $6.00 for the dollar store.

    1. Gather First Aid Items Into Your Grab and Go Kit
    • $1.00 Bandana. Could be used as a large bandage, head wrap, hand protection, foot wrap, etc.  Find at a dollar store typically in a 2-pk.
    • $1.00 Travel first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes and tweezers. Make your own from items you already have at home and perhaps purchase alcohol prep pads at a dollar store.
    • $1.00 Mini Sewing kit. Needle, thread, thimble, safety pins, etc. Find at a dollar store.
    • $1.00 Elastic bandages. Great for supporting a sprained ankle. Find at a dollar store.
    • $1.00 Feminine pads. Besides feminine use, these can also be used ad a wound compression bandage. Find at a dollar store or use some from your own supply.
    • $1.00 Duct tape. Wrap a few yards on a stick or popsicle stick. In an emergency, use it to hold a compression bandage in place. Hopefully you have some around the house.
    Put all items in a waterproof Ziploc bag and mark FIRST AID.

    If you have several young children, you could adapt the kits. Perhaps yours will have more first aid supplies than theirs, but I plan to put the items above in my 14 year-old's kits as she may need to evacuate if I'm not home.

    I’m sure there are other items you thought of, but I hope this basic list gets you started with some lightweight first aid supplies for your kit. I’m excited to work on this myself.

    Best wishes on becoming better prepared for emergencies,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    March 20, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - March Week 3

    This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we'll be gathering long-term dry beans, peas and legumes. I'd be the first to admit, I'm not an expert on these food items. But I know if the LDS Church leaders encourage us to gather them, they must be important. And so, I gather them.

    Here is what I suggest we work on:

    1. Inventory Long-Term Dry Beans, Peas or Legumes
    If you have long-term dry beans or legumes stored, take an inventory of them.

    2. Decide How Much You Want to Store
    If you decide you want to store long-term dry beans, peas or legumes, choose an amount you can afford. on the LDS.org it states: "Where permitted, gradually build a one-year supply of food that can last for a long period of time. Focus on foods such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place."
    You don't need to store a year's supply all at once. Personally, I only purchase a box of 6 at a time so my food storage doesn't expire at the same time. A general recommendation from BYU article "An Approach to Longer Term Food Storage,",is to store 12 cans per person for a year's supply. Everyone doesn't have room to store a year's supply, so decide what you can do now.

    3. Purchase Long-Term Dry Beans or Legumes
    The LDS Church sells long-term Black Beans 5.5 lbs., Great Northern (White) Beans 5.3 lbs. and Pinto Beans 5.2 lbs. in #10 cans for $5.50. Each has a 30-year shelf life. They store best at 75 degrees or less. You may purchase them at LDS Home Storage Centers or online at https://store.lds.org. Other food storage companies sell dry kidney beans and dry peas. Feel free to purchase where you want, but the LDS Church prices are amazing. If you would like to store dry beans, gather an amount to try before buying a large amount. What you store is your choice. Gather an amount that works for your family. If the day came when you had nothing else, you will be glad you had some beans.
    Currently, the LDS Home Storage Centers have Black Beans on sale for $5.00 a can. And dry refried beans (5-year shelf life) for $5.50 per can.

    As you work on a few food storage goals at a time, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

    Best wishes,

    Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
    The Food Storage Organizer  

    March 15, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge March Week 1: Reader Experience

    This week we are working on getting together a supply of canned beans and fish. The challenge comes in preparing a dish with either of those ingredients!

    Canned Fish
    A couple of weeks ago, I actually decided to branch out and make a dish with canned salmon. I had never tried canned salmon before but found a pasta dish that incorporated it. I picked up some canned salmon during my grocery trip and was really excited to try it!

    When it came time to cook the dish, I opened the can and was turned off by how it looked. We never had canned salmon growing up, or really anything more than tuna, so I didn’t know what to expect. My pregnant nose couldn’t handle the fish, and I actually opted to take the fish out of the dish. Pretty sad, I know.

    However, I now know that if it came down to using our food storage supply, we probably wouldn’t be too happy with canned salmon. Part of the challenge in collecting food storage is storing foods we would actually eat if we needed to. Cooking a recipe with the collected supplies is a great way to weed out ingredients that might not make the cut for your food supply.

    Let’s just say, I’ll be collecting canned tuna for this challenge.

    Black Bean Recipe
    This week, I was able to cook a dish with black beans that we eat fairly often. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from Cooking Classy are one of our favorites!

    Finding a recipe that doesn’t involve meat that my husband will love is a little bit tough. But we all enjoy these yummy tacos.

    Good luck!

    daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

    March 10, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - March Week 2

    This week let’s work on our first aid supplies during our Preparedness Challenge. Most of us have some, but we probably haven’t gone through them in a while. Well, this is that week.

    1. Clean Out and Resupply First Aid Supplies                   
    Go through your home and gather all the first aid supplies you can find. They could be in multiple locations. Find a container of two to put those items in. Keeping them in a central location will make it easier to find. I use a tackle box. Read more about it here. Add items you need to your grocery list such as band aids, gauze pads or rolls, medical tape, first aid kit, Neosporin, first aid manual, ice packs, thermometer, ACE bandage, rubbing alcohol, etc. You don’t need to buy these items all at once but making a list will help you gather what you need over time.     
    TIP: If you've ever had an injury, hang on to your crutches, splints, wrist guards, knee braces, etc. During a disaster, you may be the only one who has them.   
    2. Clean Out and Resupply Medications
    Contact your local pharmacy to find a disposal location near you. Or look at the Walgreen’s website to find out which stores have a disposal kiosk. Walgreen’s takes “prescription medications, ointments & patches; OTC medications, ointments, lotions & liquids; pet medications and Vitamins. Who knew? The closest locations near me are in Bountiful or Layton, Utah.       
    Make a list of medications you would like to resupply and add them to your grocery list. In an emergency, many people need some type of pain medication.    
    TIP: Keep children's and adult medications in separate containers and out of reach of children. Have a chat with teens about the proper use of medications.                                                                                                                                                                     
    I hope I’ve kept it simple enough for you to accomplish. Have a great week!                                                        
    Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
    The Food Storage Organizer       

    March 2, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - March Week 1

    During the month of March, our Preparedness Challenges will focus on gathering beans and fish into our food storage, and first aid supplies into our home supplies and Grab and Go Kits.

    For those of us who live in Utah, case lot sales begin on March 7th at some of our local stores. So, let's start this challenge by gathering a 3-month food storage supply of beans and fish.

    1. How Many Beans and Fish to Gather?
    Consider how much you eat now in one month, then multiply that by 3. Consider sandwiches, salads, soups or chili. There are tons of recipes on the internet!

    2. Gather a 3-month Supply of Beans and Fish
    There are so many beans on the market today and many of us love to use them. They are an amazing source of protein and other wonderful nutrients. Always rinse canned beans before using.

    As far as fish goes, you could store tuna, albacore, salmon, etc. Whatever you use.

    A 3-month food storage supply could include small cans of beans, dried beans, legumes and canned fish. I usually buy my 15 oz. beans and tuna at case lot sales. But you can always find deals year-round. And personally, I gather more than a 3-month supply, but you don't have to.

    3. Make a Recipe Using Beans or Fish
    This week prepare a meal using beans or fish. Save that recipe if it turns out to be a keeper.

    Heads up. During our Week 3 challenge, we'll gather long-term dry beans.

    I hope you do well with this week's challenge!

    Best wishes,

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer


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